For a fleeting moment -- very, very fleeting. Like, a nanosecond. Too long, really -- I was a paying member of eHarmony. I shudder saying that out loud. I don't know why. Paying the internet to connect me with a stranger just feels dirty. I mean, hell, that's what Twitter's for, right? And that's free. Duh. But really, something about online dating services just turn me off. It's awkward. Forced. Uncomfortable. Or maybe I'm just all of those things. It's debatable. Either way, please note I am still a single woman. Yes, I know. I've heard all the success stories. I know them. Yes. People meet. They fall in love. They get married. Yes, I bet YOU are one of them. I know. I hear you. I understand it's a good way to meet people. All of that. Yes. I get it.
I don't like it.
For the uncomfortable moment I was on eHarmony, I was cautious. I felt like I was tip-toeing through a cave in the dark, trying to stay reeeeal quiet and careful as to neither wake the monsters nor walk directly into a spiderweb. That's how I felt. Nervous. Totally creeped out. Selecting photos of myself to plaster onto my profile made me feel cheap. Tossing photos aside because they didn't show enough of my body (you're skinny, show it!) or because you couldn't see enough of my face (guys won't like that!). But those photos of me doing fun things and being me are me.
But being you doesn't get you far when people peruse dating profiles shopping for pictures. I know this because I did it. eHarmony sent me a collection of "matches" every day. New profiles of men they just know are my soul mate. However, I rarely took the time to scour profiles for tidbits of information that tipped me off to true love. Oh, no. I scanned their profile picture and tossed them aside when I wasn't attracted.
I was tossed aside repeatedly. Denied. My communication requests closed out. I felt gross. Ugly. Worthless. Denied. Basically 112 additional ways to feel rejected when being rejected by actual people in real life isn't enough.
I tried to give it the old college try. I did. Did I give it enough time? No. Absolutely not. But I knew from the instant I hit "submit" on my registration that I didn't want to be doing it. Which is odd because 78 percent of my life is lived and played out on the internet, but the one place I don't want to find a date is on a dating website. On the internet.
The first date I went on ended in awkward disaster. I think he thought it was fantastic, but my brain was exploding the entire time. He seemed very nice. Not entirely ugly, but also not entirely attractive. I'd discover later his large nose and tiny, tiny hands. We emailed a few times, at which point I should have gotten the clue that he was creeptastic, always referring to cuddling without clothes and joking about sex.
Let me back up -- I am not a prude. I'm not. But I am also 100 percent creeped out by creepy motherfuckers discussing nude cuddling via email before I even know his last name. Which, I'll add, I never learned. However, to give the benefit of the doubt, I mostly thought he was joking.
Emails led to a phone conversation and inevitably one coffee date. I had a cappuccino. He had hot chocolate. And very tiny hands. Absurdly small. I couldn't stop staring. There was too much product in his hair. Within three minutes I wanted to go home. But because I'm awkward and hate uncomfortable confrontations, I stayed. We chatted about bullshit that doesn't matter and I kept staring at his hands.
And then, on the very first (and only) date, he starts discussing sex. That it's very, very important to a relationship. (Nods, yes). But that he doesn't like to base a relationship on sex. (No, no of course not). But he likes sex. (I wish I had more cappuccino). He likes to be physical. He likes to be close. (Throws up). (Look at those fucking hands). He likes to bring up the topic of sex with potential partners because he has a very high sex drive and likes to assure that his partner can, and I quote, "meet those needs."
At that, I don't think I moved an inch. I just kept thinking of his tiny hands touching me, and that overly-coiffed hair, and wanted to run screaming. SCREAMING. I also wanted to punch him because GROSS. It'd be one thing, sir, if you were even remotely sexually attractive to me, but you are arrogant and growing more and more repulsive by the second and I now want to die. Die without finishing my cappuccino. You asshole.
"Oh, OK," I smile, nod.
I don't remember how the date reached a point of wrapping up (since I'm too much of a pushover to actually run away screaming), but it did. He suggested maybe we could see a movie that week. I smiled, nodded, acted as nonchalant as humanly possible, and stabbed him in the heart with a trident in my mind. But then it happened. He came in for a hug. And then mashed his disgusting face against mine and gripped me with those horrendous infant hands and shoved his tongue in my mouth.
STAB. STAB! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING? MAYDAY! MAY. DAY.
I closed my eyes and my mouth and turned away, absolutely repulsed, but still shy and uncomfortable and told him I had to get going. No real goodbye. No real plan for another date. Just, ew. Gone. And then I absolutely never contacted him again, ever. Not one response to his creepy texts or phone calls. Nothing.
Were I a strong woman, I would've bitch slapped the hell out of the sleazebag and went on to the next. But man, gross. I'm just. No. I don't deal with awkward, uncomfortable situations OR strangers. Especially strange men. Not at all. And to be put in those situations over and over in between boldfaced rejection based on a ridiculous picture of myself, no thank you.
I'll just take my sexy, single ass home tonight and cuddle with my cats. Yeah. Take that.
(Ha. Ha ha ha ha. Ha, ha).